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Coalition calls for Medicaid expansion in Kansas

Associated Press Modified: November 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm •  Published: November 9, 2012

Friday's rally came one day after Brownback said Kansas would not join with the federal government to establish a health insurance exchange — another feature of the federal health care overhaul. States declining to participate will receive a federally designed network that residents will use to choose among coverage plans when the system goes into effect.

Jennifer Weishaar, an unemployed Lawrence resident, said she hopes Kansas expands Medicaid because her current coverage includes large deductibles and her options are limited because of pre-existing health conditions.

"I say with gratitude and delight that I love Obamacare," she said.

Brownback launched a Medicaid review project in 2011, with the goal slowing the growth of the state's health care costs. The state awarded contracts to three managed care organizations that will begin in January.

Protesters noted that Brownback and the GOP-controlled Legislature approved income tax cuts that are projected to cause budget shortfalls in the coming years. A new estimate from the state consensus revenue estimating group projects the state will see a reduction of more than $700 million in revenue in the fiscal year starting July 1, 2013, leading to a projected $327 million shortfall.